Koen Simon is a 26-year-old watch collector from The Netherlands. A daily reader of Quill & Pad, he’s a fan of high-end watchmaking. He just lately despatched me this story so as to add to our “Why I Purchased It” collection about his classic IWC Reference 504 with Türler dial.
In my earlier Why I Purchased It article about my two-tone Christiaan van der Klaauw Orion, I said that I focus totally on classic IWC and classic Vacheron Constantin. Immediately I elaborate on a classic IWC I just lately bought, a Reference 504 with “Türler” dial.
Why I like classic IWC
My ardour for watches began with an IWC. After I was a baby, my household and I’d go snowboarding in Switzerland. On our method dwelling we’d go to my Uncle Otto in Basel.
Throughout one among these visits once I was 12 years previous, I seen his watch. I used to be very intrigued by the sweeping second hand because it was so completely different from the hacked motion of the second hand on my quartz (Disney) watch. Otto’s watch was an IWC Caliber 854, and it immediately piqued my curiosity in mechanical watches.
After my curiosity was sparked, I started to analysis watches, studying books, blogs, and boards, and went to a number of commerce festivals.
Six years later, once I was 18, I bought my first mechanical luxurious watch: an IWC Classic Assortment Portofino in metal. I subsequently joined the IWC discussion board.
By means of this discussion board I’ve made many mates with whom I’ve been in shut contact for a few years; pre-Covid, we met yearly in Amsterdam. Other than that, I additionally attended particular collector occasions throughout SIHH and in Schaffhausen.
I used to be, and nonetheless am, the youngest member, however I’ve at all times been welcomed with open arms. The IWC collectors’ group has performed a key position in my growth as a collector and members have usually helped me to analysis particular items that I come throughout.
As a result of my ardour for watches began with IWC and due to my supportive IWC mates, I’ve a weak spot for this model’s classic watches.
How I discovered the IWC Reference 504 Türler
On daily basis, I search for particular watches, and a pair months in the past I used to be searching Chrono24 once I seen a watch that regarded fairly odd due to three issues: the form of the case, the dial, and the Türler signature.
The watch was listed by a non-public vendor from the US. who instructed me that there should have been an fascinating story as Türler is a well-known retailer primarily based in Zürich. One way or the other the watch went from Zürich to the US.
So it was time for me to research the historical past of this stunning watch so far as attainable.
Investigation mode activated: speaking to IWC’s Dr. David Seyffer
I began my analysis by asking the vendor extra questions concerning the historical past of the watch.
The vendor instructed me he lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He discovered the watch at an property sale and purchased it from the grandson of the unique proprietor, a profitable businessman from New York who retired and moved to Phoenix. He had traveled so much for his work, which I believe is particular given it was the Nineteen Forties. I can’t affirm if any of this story is true, however I are likely to imagine the vendor. Worst case state of affairs is that it’s only a good story.
The subsequent step in my analysis was to contact Dr. David Seyffer, curator of the IWC Museum. I wished to know particularly if the case and motion numbers have been matching.
The reply I obtained from him [lightly edited here for grammar and clarity –ed] proved to be rather more detailed and fascinating than I may have imagined.
“The watch is certainly a Caliber 88 watch that was initially offered on October 14, 1947, to Türler in Zurich. The reference was 504.
“However then one thing unusual occurred: the watch was despatched again from Türler after which offered one 12 months later to a wholesaler I have no idea. Due to your watch we all know that the ‘Türler’ dial was not exchanged. Very fascinating story. However crucial factor is that the numbers are matching.
“From the information, the case maker was referred to as ‘H. Jeanmeret’ [sic]. What number of of Reference 504 have been made in complete sadly I can’t say.”
I used to be within the backseat of my brother’s automotive once I obtained this e-mail and (so far as attainable) I jumped for pleasure. I completely beloved studying so many particulars concerning the watch. However one large thriller stays: why was the watch despatched again after one 12 months and why wasn’t the dial changed for one more when it was offered to a different wholesaler? It nonetheless had “Türler” on it.
That can stay a thriller. A thriller that to me vastly contributes to the appeal of the watch.
Now that I knew the precise reference, and contemplating that IWC couldn’t inform me what number of watches of that reference have been made, I attempted to search out as many recognized examples as attainable.
I discovered that the case of this watch with its so-called “satan horn” lugs is one thing uncommon in classic IWC. Through the years I’ve personally come throughout six items in complete. I’m not certain whether or not all these circumstances have been made by the identical maker, however I assume so.
I discovered that these six watches are powered by three completely different actions, although: Caliber 88 (three), Caliber 89 (two), and Caliber 83 (one).
The dial can also be particular. To begin with, “gilt” dials [by which Koen means the printed gold-colored elements and not the entire dial, which, as we can see, is black –ed] are usually not widespread with IWC. It’s at all times a rarity to see one. Among the components on this dial are uncommon too, particularly the dot markers marking the five-minute intervals together with the Arabic numerals at 12, 3, and 9 o’clock. I’ve seen that mixture on a few Caliber 89s and Caliber 88s; nonetheless, it’s the primary time I’ve seen it with a “gilt” dial.
The dial has two different uncommon options: the brand font and the Türler co-signature. That is the primary time I’ve ever seen this mixture in its entirety in an IWC. I’ve seen one other Caliber 88 with the identical dial format (however with Roman numerals), the identical signature, and virtually the identical brand font, however that instance has a distinct case.
My private hyperlink to Türler
Though I wasn’t particularly attempting to find a watch with a Türler signature, it does add an additional emotional dimension for me.
As briefly talked about within the introduction, my ardour for watches began once I was 12 years previous. I quickly turned utterly obsessive about watches.
After receiving my highschool diploma at 15, I made a decision to go on a visit by way of Switzerland by practice. I had an Interrail ticket, which implies that inside a sure variety of days I may take a sure variety of practice journeys. I deliberate to go to Basel, Schaffhausen, Zürich, Lausanne, and Geneva with the only suggest of visiting something watch associated. Primarily watch shops and museums.
I bear in mind visiting the Türler retailer once I went to Zürich and regardless of my age I used to be welcomed with heat hospitality. I defined my love for watches to the employees and was proven probably the most spectacular watches whereas having fun with a pleasant espresso. Other than this, I do not forget that in the midst of the shop there was a really spectacular clock with astronomical issues. Each the hospitality and this clock left deep impressions on me.
This stays a really cherished reminiscence. It was the primary time I went on a multiple-week journey with out my dad and mom. It taught me that having real ardour is a unbelievable instrument and I take pleasure in assembly nice individuals and bear in mind with pleasure the enjoyment it gave me to fulfill them.
Each time I see the Türler signature it jogs my memory of a younger model of myself, able to discover the world and go after my ardour. It was an actual journey. This watch one way or the other seems like a belated memento of that journey. A sort reminder to remain younger and adventurous.
Fast Info IWC Reference 504 “Türler”
Case: 36 mm, 18-karat yellow gold
Motion: hand-wound Caliber 88, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph frequency, 36-hour energy reserve
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds